BARTHEL BEHAM

Portrait of Hans Urmiller with his Son

ca. 1525

Mixed technique on pinewood
Inv. No. 919

64.8 × 47.2 cm

zur  Biographie

Banned from his native town of Nuremberg on the eve of the Peasant Wars on account of his inflammatory tirades, from 1527 onward this painter made a name for himself at the court of the Bavarian duke Wilhelm IV in Munich, primarily with the execution of suspensefully staged double portraits. Our example has its companion piece, showing Urmiller’s wife with their daughter, in Philadelphia. The girl’s expectant expression contrasts with the strangely aloof attitude of her brother and the worried look on the face of her father. Through the inclusion of the children, the typical late medieval “alliance portrait” has turned into a psychologically perceptive study of an entire family.

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